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Reviews for Pamlico 140 Kayak by Wilderness Systems


Rated: 8.88/10 Based On: 17 Reviews

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08-27-2012
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Just bought a 2004 Pamlico 140 and went out with a friend on his Tarpon 160 for a quick comparo. I like the Pamlico for the cargo space. The tarpon was easier to paddle but when we raced We were dead even and the tarpon could not pull away from me. I was able to hit 7mph on my GPS and I thought that was respectable. Tarpon also seemed to track a little better. I thought the Pamlico was more comfortable. I got the boat for 250 and am pleased do far.
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05-02-2011
Submitted by: CSOSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought two Pamlico 140s six years ago as first boats for my son and myself. Looking back on my experience with this and with others I have paddled, I can highly recommend this boat for beginners, large paddlers (I am 6'5", 215#). We've had them in everything from swamps to rivers to large bays to open ocean, and while not the best at the latter they do OK if you don't ask too much of them. Before we took them out in the open water we practiced self and buddy rescues and found them extremely easy to reenter, even in less-than-calm water.

Goods: Large cockpit, plenty of weight capacity - camping gear, etc. Very stable and forgiving, strong initial stability. Pretty fast for its width, tracks well - it has rudder fittings but I have never considered installing one. Best foot peg adjustment I've seen yet, easy to adjust when in the boat and provides a good firm rest.

Bads: Hard to edge for turns; hull is so wide you have to splay knees out to brace against hull if you want to paddle with more than your arms. The hatch cover is not easy to seal. No bulkheads means everything must be in dry bags. Large cockpit means a lot of water from spray, paddle drips - easy to pick up a few gallons of water on a choppy day, and a skirt has to be so large it won't hold if you get any significant amount dumped on you from waves, etc.
Biggest complaint is that both boats developed cracks in hull where seat bottom is "welded" to the hull. Since it is a stress point, it requires periodic repairs (plastic welding). I severed the seat bottom from the hull using a hacksaw blade; this seems to have stopped the problem without (so far) creating other stress points.

The Pamlico 140 was discontinued several years ago but for someone starting out or wanting a boat with the characteristics above, you can find them for next to nothing and you really can't go wrong. I plan to get a true touring kayak soon for longer trips, but I will keep the Pamlico for workouts and getting others started in this great sport.

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12-08-2008
Submitted by: met1961Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought a used Pungo 140 from a local outfitter in South Carolina a couple of years ago and have used and abused it since. It is great for small to medium rivers and lakes but is not nimble enough to maneuver small creeks. I have found this from experience! (having drug it across countless logs, I don't think that I can hurt it). The cockpit is easy to get in and out of and with a half skirt, you will stay dry. It tracks straight and is stable and the seat and footpegs are comfortable. Hard to beat for the money!
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01-19-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I just recently started kayaking. The boat is not tippy and it easy to make it go in a straight line. It turns easily enough too. I am able to tip over, fall out and climb back in. I use float bags to minimize water entry. This is a great kayak!
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01-19-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought 120 but it was too small. Then I got a carolina 14.5 and gave it to my wife. Then I got my 140. I like not having bulkheads.It's easier to get my gear in and out.
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01-08-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I'm a proud owner of a red one. It's very roomy and it's extremely easy to enter and exit the Pamlico 140. It's really stable so you can relax and enjoy it. The Pamlico 140 is also fast, and it glides across water. It can also haul a lot. No matter how much gear I had, my Pamlico 140 could stow it very easily. I feel it's very stylish, and it's so great! I love the Pamlico 140!

The boat had wonderful tracking, and can also turn with ease. It is amazing how the boat can have such stability, while having good performance, tracking, and maneuverability all in one. I am an intermediate paddler, and I must say this is the perfect kayak for me. All skill levels, from beginner to Expert, it suits all levels of skill. This is a great touring Kayak.

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11-08-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Just paddled my new Pamlico 140. Just about what I expected. Took very little water to float, which is just what I needed for the river around here. Seat is the Phase 3 Light and does not begin to compare to the true Phase 3 seat. Installed a precut section of high density foam and seat feels ok but still not very comfortable. Workmanship of fit and finish is very good. Installed 2 flush mount rod holders aft of seat around the deck bungees. I'm 6'2" and 190 lbs and it fits me fine. As advertised the tracking leaves something to be desired but for a flat bottomed, keeless kayak it's ok. For the money it's a pretty good little boat.
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08-09-2005
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Took my new Pamlico 140 out twice this past weekend on two local lakes. Conditions were very calm and the water in both instances was a sheet of glass. As advertised, the boat is very stable and I had no concerns about tipping even when attempting leaning turns. Since this is my first kayak it is difficult for me to say how fast or well the boat turned. It did seem to take a few strokes to get it going in the direction I intended. Using the rudder made turns a snap. Eventually, my stroke will improve (looking for a good kayak class) so I don't doubt my stroke could be part of the issue. The phase 3 seat is fantastic and the bulkhead, stern hatch are nice features.

Taking the kayak off of my Subaru wagon (using J style yak rack from Thule) is a bit of a chore by myself. The kayak is supposed to weigh 56 pounds but I think it is more than that when you throw in the rudder. Carrying the kayak from the car to the put in is a task I care to not have to do to often. I'll be getting a yak cart to save my back. Overall, pleased with the kayak and will be using it often for casual paddling alone or with my son sitting in front of me and perhaps a bit of fishing. At $400, the price could not be beat!

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07-31-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Plenty of room for my 6-2 275# body. Room to spare for my size 13 feet. A friend that is 6-6 with size 15 feet had ample room even. Tracks straight whether going into, with, or angling into waves-wind. The phase 3 seat is wonderful, my legs don't fall asleep after 1/2 hour of paddling. Comfortable even after 2 hours on the water. STABLE. Handles class II, and Superior wonderfully. Respectable speed. The only bad thing is no watertight compartments. Otherwise it's a wonderful kayak with adequate storage that I highly recommend to anyone with a large body and feet. I would have given a 10 if it had some dry storage.
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07-06-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     I generally liked the boat but am rating it a 6 based on a comparison with the Old Town Dirigo. The Dirigo comes with a bulkhead installed as well as smoother surface against which to brace you knees and legs. The Pamlico has a sharper edge so when you brace to help with turns, it cuts into your legs. Also, it seems that the cost for installing the foam bulkhead dramatically increased from the day I made the purchase and waiting two weeks to arrange for installation. It seems that once I correct for the differences, the difference in price of the Dirigo would be negligible. It would seem that the cost of adding that small piece of foam during the manufacturing process would be minimal and would have made for a better boat.
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04-18-2005
Submitted by: RPULMERSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Iím a 6'6" fly fisherman - and this watercraft is ideal! Whether I'm floating a moonlit river for brown trout or skirting a Muskie lake - the Pamlico 14 is great. One caution, if you get the fishing package, spend a few bucks for a little heavier anchor. Also, open cockpit allows for excellent sitting down fly casting!
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03-18-2005
Submitted by: TejasSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have several boats and this is my fav. I live on a river in S.E.Texas, I hunt and play in this boat all year. I brought out 2 deer on it this year, and have been on three day trips with all my gear without a problem. I've also designed a canopy for it and it handles well with it. Do that with a touring boat! I would give it an 11 but they only allow a 10.
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05-03-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased a used 2003 model Pamlico 140 with the Phase-3 seat and a Voyager spray skirt and paddle. I tested the boat on a 27 mile 2-day river float trip. The boat had plenty of room for all my camping gear including a 7'x9' tent, sleeping pad & bag, backpacker stove, ice chest, food, two fishing poles and tackle. The only time I noticed the load was when we carried the boat to the water. I'm 6'2", and I had to put the foot pegs on the last (back) notch, but the large cockpit made it easy to get in and out of the boat. When I brought the boat home I unloaded it by myself from the rack on top of my SUV. I'd say it's not too heavy at 57#, but it's always better to have help with a boat this big. I'm very pleased with the Pamlico 140, and I give it a 10, because it filled my need for a high capacity fishing and camping kayak. I believe Wilderness Systems builds high quality kayaks.
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12-18-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 6 of 10

     Plus: big, roomy, stable. I can put my feet up.

Minus: I drip water on my knees. If I get a skirt, then it may as well be another model. The others we go with have more light touring kayaks. I feel as if I have a big yak and am far off the water.

For some it could be a 10, but for me only a 6.

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12-04-2002
Submitted by: Jill BaezSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     We wanted to start kayaking as a family, since the kids are bigger now (12 and 14) . . . we realized it's time to start enjoying life again! Tried out a few kayaks, but wanted something stable . . . I don't want to tip over unless I choose to. Also, I want to carry my camera with me and camping cargo for overnight trips . . . and keep them dry!

The first time I got in a Pamlico 140, I knew it was the boat for me. I felt like I'd never tip over in it. I could actually move around in it comfortably. And the cockpit is large enough that I can take a cooler AND my dog! I was so excited about the demo that my husband tried it and decided it was just right for him, too. So that was two sold. Our son was with us and he liked the Old Town Castine. We were pretty sure our daughter would need to stay dry at all times too, as she'd probably insist on having her discman and CDs with her during our kayak trips . . . so we brought her back to try the Pamlico and she loved it, too. So we bought 3 Pamlico 140s and one Castine!

We bought late in the summer, so we only had occasion to go on a few trips, but each time out was like heaven . . . a mini vacation. Being out on the water in my kayak is the best stress reliever I've found yet. I'm more comfortable in my kayak than I ever thought I'd be. We ordered rudders on all four kayaks . . . putting the rudder down is like having a steering wheel! It's great! The length of the boat is great for long-distance touring. Looking forward to the spring . . . it should be the best ever!

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10-31-2002
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I just bought a new one, this is the second one I've had, I wanted a rudder and it was cheaper, than buying a rudder and putting on the old one. I like it because of length, size of cockpit, its not as big as the pungo's cockpit. It paddles good, tracks good on calm flat water, but put it in wind, chop it different, put the rudder down and it does ok. The rudder is a good thing to have as conditions change often sometime, I wish it had a sealed bulkhead on front though. The seat doesn't set as good as the regular phase 3, because the bottom of the seat is molded as part of the kayak,and is raised up off bottom, looks as if they had a perception designer to design it, because it has tracking channels like the perception acadia, seat bottom designed same way, but I like it a lot, thats why I would rate it 9 out 10.
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06-24-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is a new model with some slight differences from existing Pamlicos. It's a great boat and id have bought it except it is just a little too long to carry in the bed of my small Toyota pu. BUMMER!!! The new Phase 3 seat is excellent and the most comfortable on the market today. The cockpit around 40" long is plenty enough for easy entry/exit. Yet not so large as to make it impossible to support a skirt that wont get crushed in under the weight of water from a big wave/rapids. It tracks great, is quite fast and handles very well for such a long boat. Plenty of room for storage, which the smaller, somewhat cramped feeling 120 version lacks. The cockpit is a bit deeper as well and the sides don't rub uncomfortably against my knees when I put them up like the 120.I went with a Pungo and love it but this would have been my choice if I still had my full size pickup. Try it-you'll like it!
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